- Taylor Swift confirmed that Scooter Braun (opens in new tab) sold the master rights to her first six albums to private equity company Shamrock Holdings.
- "This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge," she wrote on Twitter.
- Swift said she attempted to buy back her masters (opens in new tab) from Braun, but his team demanded she sign an "ironclad NDA" before even entering into negotiations.
Taylor Swift confirmed on Twitter (opens in new tab) that Scooter Braun sold the master rights to her first six albums, after Variety (opens in new tab) reported (opens in new tab) Monday that Braun had earned over $300 million in a deal with an investment fund. In a statement shared on Twitter, Swift said she was contacted by private equity company Shamrock Holdings to confirm their purchase of her masters. "This was the second time my music had been sold without my knowledge," she wrote. Swift and Braun have been locked in a dispute (opens in new tab) over the artist's masters since June 2019, when Braun bought Swift's former record label (opens in new tab), Big Machine Records—and with it, the rights to her first six albums.
Swift stated that she'd been "actively trying to regain ownership of [her] master recordings," but Braun's team refused to even enter into negotiations unless she signed an "ironclad" non-disclosure agreement pledging to "never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive."
"I would have to sign a document that would silence me forever before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work," Swift wrote. "He would never even quote my team a price. These master recordings were not for sale to me."
Been getting a lot of questions about the recent sale of my old masters. I hope this clears things up. pic.twitter.com/sscKXp2ibDNovember 16, 2020
According to Swift, she was "hopeful and open to the possibility of a partnership with Shamrock Holdings," but subsequently learned that Braun "will continue to profit off [her] old musical catalog for many years" under the terms of the sale. In a letter to the private equity group she shared on Twitter, she wrote, "I simply cannot in good conscience bring myself to be involved in benefiting Scooter Braun's interests directly or indirectly."
Swift confirmed that she'd started re-recording her old music, calling the process "both exciting and creatively fulfilling" and adding, "I have plenty of surprises in
Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.
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